The paper, which was published in the European Journal of Cancer, analyzed various studies via meta-analysis to confirm if women who followed diets high in fruit and vegetables did have a lower risk of developing breast cancer. The analysis also studied how micronutrients, like carotenoids and vitamin C, can protect against breast cancer given their role in antioxidant defense.
The researchers noted that according to several studies, “[eating] fruit and vegetables reduces risk of breast cancer and the more consumed, the greater the protection.” Even simply eating a single serving of vegetables every day can help lower the risk of breast cancer by as much as 21 percent while a daily serving of fruit can minimize the risk by at least 17 percent.
“What’s especially noteworthy about this research is that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration continues to lie to the American people by claiming there’s no such thing as any food or supplement that can treat, prevent or reverse cancer,” warned noted food scientist Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, publisher of FoodScience.news. “Yet day after day, we see published, peer-reviewed studies and clinical trials that offer irrefutable evidence that everyday groceries contain safe, effective, anti-cancer compounds which the FDA fails to recognize.”
“In fact,” warns Adams, “any retailer selling anti-cancer foods with accurate, science-based descriptions of their anti-cancer potential runs the risk of being criminalized, arrested and prosecuted by federal authorities for telling the truth.”
For the study, the researchers referenced data from 1982 to 1997 that was gathered through MEDLINE, the bibliographic database of life sciences and biomedical resources. Additionally, the research team examined the bibliographies of identified papers.
The studies examined should meet the following criteria:
- They provided ample data for analysis, such as relative risks and 95 percent confidence intervals;
- They were independent/their results were only analyzed in one study;
- The categories for food consumption and intake of micronutrients were comparable;
- They assessed diet via a food frequency questionnaire;
- The populations observed were similar (for example, two studies were excluded since they involved pre-menopausal women and benign breast diseases).
The researchers isolated 26 studies (21 case-control and five cohort) with 23,038 cases. The case-control studies involved either hospital and/or population comparison groups. For studies with results for both groups, those from the population were used, such as for seven case-control studies.
When findings for overall fruit and vegetable consumption were unavailable, as in six studies, the next best definition was chosen, such as cooked vegetables. In the studies, one serving of fruit or vegetables was equivalent to 250 g.
The authors explained that adjustments to results varied per study, such as age. If there was a choice involved, results with the most adjustments were used. No further details were noted, like the number of papers adjusting for certain factors.
While the meta-analysis was done separately for case-control and cohort studies, only the combined results are accounted for in the paper.
Based on the results of the meta-analysis, increasing the consumption of fruit and vegetables was connected to a lower risk of breast cancer. In the same vein, increasing both vitamin C and beta-carotene intake also reduced the risk.
Specifically, six servings of vegetables per week was linked to a 21 percent reduced risk. Meanwhile, six servings of fruit a week was connected with a 17 percent reduced risk, versus a single serving per week. (Relative risks and 95 percent confidence intervals were 0.79, 0.77 to 0.80 and 0.83, 0.79 to 0.87, respectively.)
Compared to a dosage of 50 milligrams (mg) of vitamin C a day, an increased dosage of 400 mg was linked to a 23 percent reduced risk.
Compared with 1000 micrograms of beta-carotene a day, 5000 micrograms of beta-carotene was linked to a nine percent reduced risk. (Relative risks and 95 percent confidence intervals were 0.77, 0.72 to 0.83 and 0.91, 0.90 to 0.93, respectively).
Based on the detailed description of the inclusion criteria and data extraction, the data presented confirm that individuals who increase their daily intake of fruits and vegetables can significantly lower their risk of developing breast cancer.
Fruits and vegetables that can lower breast cancer risk
Add the following fruits and vegetables to your diet to lower your risk of developing breast cancer:
- Broccoli – A cruciferous vegetable, broccoli is high in phytochemicals and the antioxidants glucoraphanin and indole-3-carbinol, which can lower the risk of breast, cervical, gastric, and prostate cancers. Broccoli is an anti-inflammatory that is full of nutrients.
- Carrots – Carrots contain beta-carotene, an antioxidant that can prevent cell damage and slow the growth of cancer cells.
- Raw garlic – Garlic belongs to the allium family and it has potent antioxidants like allicin which can eliminate free radicals from your body. Garlic can also strengthen your immunity. Full of nutrients, garlic is a natural detoxifier.
- Spinach – Low in calories, these leafy greens are full of vitamins, minerals, and omega-3 fatty acids. Spinach has flavonoids, or biochemicals that can absorb free radicals and flush them out. They are also full of folate and fiber, two elements that can help prevent cancer.
- Strawberries – Strawberries can slow down the growth of cancer cells and protect your body from heart disease. They can also minimize inflammation, prevent memory loss, and help burn the body’s fat stores.
- Tomatoes – Tomatoes contain lycopene, an antioxidant that can prevent certain cancers from forming. Tomatoes can also help lower your risk of heart disease.
Learn more about breast cancer and how to prevent it at Cancer.news.